School Bus, Multiple Vehicle Accident on Apalachee Parkway

By: TPD Release
By: TPD Release

School Bus Crash Safety
by Lanetra Bennett

Tallahassee, FL - School bus drivers say they do their best to make sure that your kids are safe when you send them off to school.

State and local criteria are set up to help ensure that all safety measures are met.

Managers teach bus drivers that their Number One priority is to get kids to school safe and on time.

Aaron Bush, a long-time school bus driver, says, "We train real hard. We stay in class a lot. It's not just coming to work getting on a bus driving it."

Aaron Bush has been driving school buses for 12 years...
But, he never stops learning...
The Leon County School District requires training courses for drivers every month and certain training every year.

Bush says, "It keeps us refreshed on how to handle our job and how to be safe out there on the road because you're not just driving for yourself, but, you're driving for 65 to 80 kids. Also, the people in your surrounding."

Florida public school bus drivers must meet stringent requirements *before* they can transport students...Some qualifications needed are: at least five years licensed driving experience, a Commercial Driver License, and 40 hours of training.

Tallahassee resident Ronald Davis says, "Recently, a lot of kids got killed on a bus. So, I think they need a proper training in different areas. Especially, going through subdivisions. They have to obey the speed."
Bush says they're taught how to avoid accidents... which he says, students make challenging sometimes.

Another Tallahassee resident, Donald Chatman, adds, "They're jumping around, maybe being unruly, having a good time, seeing their friends, not staying in their seats, maybe if they're strapped down, it'd be less of a distraction for the bus driver."

Bus drivers urge parents to teach their kids about behaving on the bus, and they urge other drivers to please stop when they see school buses with the stop sign out and the lights flashing.

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[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - September 27, 2011 - Noon -

TPD Traffic Crash Update:

This morning at approximately 7:21a.m Tallahassee Police responded to the intersection of Apalachee Parkway and Sutor Road to a traffic crash involving six vehicles including a Leon County School Bus.

Eleven children, who were on the bus were transported to local hospitals for minor injuries. The remaining children were placed on another bus and taken to their respective schools.

In addition, two other drivers were transported to the hospital- Ms. Gloria McRae and Ms. Latrina Massey were taken for minor injuries. The driver of the school bus, Ms. Beverly Gunn, was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - September 27, 2011 - Noon -

A slide show is attached above. Click on the "Photos" tab to view.

Eleven elementary students and one driver are hospitalized after a bus crash on Apalachee Parkway.

The Tallahassee Police department says there were only minor injuries, but video of the accident makes it look far worse.

The accident happened at about 7:20 this morning. Several vehicles were involved in the crash. The driver of a flattened SUV was extracted by the fire department, but police say he received only minor injuries.The other drivers involved walked away without injury. It's unclear exactly how many cars were involved.

Traffic was re-routed by police for a couple of hours at Apalachee Parkway and Sutor Road because of the mess.

"The preliminary investigation shows the school bus impacted the rear of an SUV, which caused a pinball effect of other vehicles striking other vehicles," says Officer David Northway with the Tallahassee Police Department.

The woman driving the bus has been a bus driver with Leon County Schools for 23 years.

The kids on the bus were going to Chaires and W.T. Moore Elementary schools.

Right now, we don't know of any charges in the accident.

Tonight at 5, hear reaction from a grandparent of three of the kids on the bus.

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[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - September 27, 2011 - 11:10am

Following the accident off of Apalachee Parkway and Sutor Road that involved a bus and multiple vehicles, some of the children on the bus were taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. All of the children that were taken to TMH have been released, according to Chris Petley with Leon County Schools.

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[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - September 27, 2011 - 8:45am

The accident off of Apalachee Parkway and Sutor Road is between a Bus and multiple vehicles.

Some children have been taken away in ambulances but the extent of their injuries is unknown. At this time we do not know the age of the children, or what school they go to.

_____________________________

Tallahassee, Florida - September 27, 2011 -

There is a traffic crash at Apalachee Parkway and Sutor Road, according to the Tallahassee Police Department. Officers are just arriving on scene at this time. Apalachee Parkway is closed in both directions. More information will be forthcoming.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Statistic on Sep 30, 2011 at 08:24 AM
    This is some statistics I found on line regarding buses! Over a span of 11 years, from 1994-2004, a total of 71 passengers on school buses died in crashes. In the year 2004 alone, traffic accidents killed 31,693 people traveling in cars and light trucks. Every year school buses carry some 24 million students and collectively travel more than 4 billion miles. Considering how many kids the buses carry and the distance they cover, deaths on the road are extremely rare. School buses have a rate of 0.2 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The rate of deaths in automobiles is eight times higher. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/child-safety-school-bus-still-best
  • by bus driver on Sep 30, 2011 at 08:22 AM
    I was like a lot of people regarding buses until I became one!I didn’t want my kids to ride a bus I felt they were unsafe.But I needed a job and I became a bus driver!Well I can tell you that the kids are safe and the drivers are trained and have to have continuing education throughout the year to keep our license.I can also tell you that the buses are designed to protect the children but if your child does not sit in the seat properly it will not protect him!They must sit on their bottoms and face forward at all times! This does not happen and as a driver I cannot keep looking up in the mirror because each time I take my eyes off the road to look at your child I am not looking at the driver in front of me that may be stopping to fast or cutting me off!We need more bus drivers!So I challenge any one that thinks they can do better please come and drive a bus, but before you do know that the start pay is just over $10 bucks an hour!!Please look for a statistic post that I have included!
  • by southside Location: tallahassee on Sep 29, 2011 at 08:06 AM
    With the lack of "serious" injuries, what takes so long to corroborate the accounts and establish cause and effect? Starting with the bus driver, if she tells the truth, the report can be completed and we can learn and hopefully be more careful.
  • by Mitzi on Sep 28, 2011 at 04:41 PM
    really? im the fool huh? The EMT saying my son was clearly high after he was thrown around the bus like a ball, is also a different story. How about them saying my my seven year old never hit his head, you say he is trained for that huh, his entire face is bruised, maybe they should have asked. But wait, they are trained to "see".. You are the foolish one for commenting on this and trying to cut me down when you clearly do not know.
  • by Monique Location: Crawfordville on Sep 28, 2011 at 02:26 PM
    I commute from Crawfordville and Tallahassee daily for work. The way some of these people drive around here is crazy and nearly get hit at least 2 or 3 times a month if not more. Even if the bus driver was at fault, which we don't know that yet, I'm sure it was just that, an accident and she probably couldn't feel worse! My son was in a bus accident 2 years ago and I certainly was upset but not as angry as some of you. Lighten up!
  • by Mary Location: Tallahassee on Sep 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM
    I was just in front of the accident and the light was red and had been red for some time. I have no idea why the bus didn't stop unless she was anticipating it turning green. There were many good samartians who stopped to help. I tried to call many of the kids parents to let them know they were okay. Unfortunately very few of the kids knew their parents phone numbers. The paramedics repeatedly went to each child to check on them. I called 911 within seconds of the accident and the police and firemen were on sight within 4 - 5 minutes. By the way, the sun was not blinding at that time, as you can see by some of the pictures.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:26 AM
    I have ridden on many buses when they had to slam on brakes, and the tires WILL NOT skid! It also isn't safe to just slam on brakes, that could cause more harm to the children than an impact could.
    • reply
      by hmm on Sep 28, 2011 at 02:21 PM in reply to
      You have ridden on many buses when they had to slam on breaks but it isn't safe to slam on brakes, so is it safe to say, sometimes it's unavoidable to have to slam on brakes?
  • by Lorinne Location: Tallahassee on Sep 28, 2011 at 06:06 AM
    My son attended WT Moore last year. He didn't ride the bus -- I drove him to school every morning. In just 3 months, there were three incidents where a bus made a dangerous illegal move that nearly hit us. I'm not talking about a distracted driver either. These were intentional illegal turns that cut us off, including turning from a side street left across traffic. An accident was only avoided by me being alert and slamming on the brakes every time. I reported them but never got feedback about corrective action. This accident was entirely avoidable, and given the irresponsible reckless way I have seen them drive -- inevitable.
  • by mc Location: leon on Sep 28, 2011 at 05:38 AM
    I did not mean they didn't do their Jobs. But for instance one of the EMT's thought my oldest was high,when he was clearly in shock. He is only 11 and is being taken in today for chest and stomach pain. The point was not to degrade anyone I apologize for that.
  • by Lori on Sep 28, 2011 at 05:14 AM
    It's odd how we never hear anyone say anything about how wonderful the bus drivers are who get your children to school everyday safely. This is such a rare occurance that everyone is freaking out. If you do not think your children are safe on the bus, drive them yourself. There are many car crashes in this town and I'm sure there are children in those cars yet we don't complain about the driving experience of those drivers. This town has such a riot mentality that it is very sad. Think for yourself before you blame others for what very easily could have been you.
    • reply
      by Lorinne on Sep 28, 2011 at 06:08 AM in reply to Lori
      Unfortunately, this is only a rare occurence because of defensive driving by others more so than safe drivi9ng by bus drivers. While I am sure their are safe bus drivers out there, in my experience there are also some VERY reckless ones. My son attended WT Moore last year. He didn't ride the bus -- I drove him to school every morning. In just 3 months, there were three incidents where a bus made a dangerous illegal move that nearly hit us. I'm not talking about a distracted driver either. These were intentional illegal turns that cut us off, including turning from a side street left across traffic. An accident was only avoided by me being alert and slamming on the brakes every time. We're talking three times in just three months, and in a 6 minute drive! I reported them but never got feedback about corrective action. This accident was entirely avoidable, and given the irresponsible reckless way I have seen them drive -- inevitable.
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